A fleet of gleaming classic cars piled into The Fountain Inn’s car park in Ashurst for the fortnightly SADCASE meet last Tuesday May 15, and there was not a sad face in the crowd.
As founder Martin Pester put it - there is no judgement, no pretention and no fuss. Membership is free - just roll on up and meet new people. As the motto states: ‘If you like it, so do we.’
“I used to see lots of cars around Storrington and didn’t know who these people were driving past, so I thought we’ll start a club,” said Martin.
“I was hoping to get ten or 15 people out on the first night, and then more than 60 turned up, and now we’re up to around 580 members.”
SADCASE may seem like a derogatory or self-loathing title for a club, but it actually stands for ‘Storrington and District Classic and Sportscar Enthusiasts’.
In fact, Martin came up with the name, along with his neighbour, when humouring his wife after she referred to the two men as ‘sadcases’ for polishing their cars on a Sunday afternoon.
“I told her, yeah, I am a SADCASE. Sorted, and that was the name that stuck.”
Four and a half years later and the club has gone from strength to strength, but what is the reason behind its rapid success across the district?
“The fact we don’t charge membership helps,” said Martin. “I’m of the opinion that we don’t need the money so why should we? Every other club charges, but we just have a raffle every time we meet up.”
Martin owns a Sunbeam Tiger, which he has admired since his youth.
Some members turn up in more unusual varieties, however, like a double decker bus, Green Goddess Fire Engine, along with the usual Ferraris, Maseratis and Lamborghinis.
PR representative, Chris Mason is one of the founding members. He said you do not have to be a classic car owner to enjoy the display.
“There are a lot of car clubs in West Sussex and a lot of good ones. I just think it’s the informality of it. If you don’t want to turn up on a particular night you don’t have to.’’
Every member agreed on one thing and that was the relaxed, sociable and friendly nature of the club.
SADCASE regularly attends events like Storrington Village Day, Cowfold Classic Car Show and the Floral Fringe Fair, to name a few.
If you would like to join the club meets every second Tuesday of the month at the Fountain Inn in Ashurst, and fourth Tuesday of the month at The Spur in Slindon. To become a member for free, visit: www.sadcase.co.uk